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November 13, 2012
Altera Simplifies FPGA-Based Industrial Ethernet Designs


By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor


Industrial Ethernet is becoming a major technology in such things as factory automation, programmable logic controller (PLC) and motor control designs. Industrial Ethernet deployment has been changing and moving to a deeply embedded function; however, at the same time, companies are faced with the problem of designing to accommodate various worldwide standards.

To directly address this problem, Altera (News - Alert) Corporation (ALTR) has revealed a licensing structure that makes that simplifies the integration of FPGA-based Industrial Ethernet designs in factory automation systems.

Created in partnership with Softing Industrial Automation GmbH, the new licensing structure offers system developers with access to major Industrial Ethernet protocols. It boasts no upfront license fees, no per-unit royalty reporting or protracted negotiations, and users will enjoy access to numerous Industrial Ethernet protocols in a single Altera FPGA, consisting of PROFINET RT, PROFINET IRT, Ethernet/IP, Modbus TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP and PROFIBUS DP. This happens as a result of the collaboration between the two companies.

For an FPGA that has an integrated embedded processor, Altera's Industrial Ethernet solutions deploy the protocol intellectual property (IP) and software stack.

“While Industrial Ethernet is a vital technology for linking the elements of industrial electronic systems, it is also a highly fragmented technology that includes a variety of different protocols," explained Christoph Fritsch, senior manager of the Altera industrial business, in a statement. "Supporting a market like Industrial Ethernet is the sweet spot for FPGAs due to their programmability and ability to quickly and easily support different protocol standards. By teaming with Softing, we offer customers a simplified licensing structure.”

Recently, the company also revealed the availability of an updated version of its functional safety data package for automotive, industrial, medical and defense applications. Allowing customers using Cyclone IV FPGAs to reduce risks and adhere to the latest safety regulations when developing safety-critical designs, the company’s 2012 functional safety data package consists of additional device support and improved software support.

In related VoIP news, Patton (News - Alert) Electronics recently revealed its all-new customer service support system, including its new platinum-level Premium Support and platinum-plus Premium 24/7 Support services, which take the company’s already unparalleled gold-standard free support to an unbelievable new level. Already offering free lifetime technical support is rare in itself, but by working with Patton-Inalp (Switzerland), Patton Electronics (USA) is extending its lifetime technical support with global 24x7 coverage – something that is even rarer in the electronic-telecommunications industry.

To learn more about Patton’s new levels of customer support, click here.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo



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